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Monday Morning H-Back

That was pretty hard to sit through at times, but in the end a win is a win. I figured it would be close and ugly, and it was, although I did expect the Skins to put up more points (and the Browns, too, for that matter). We saw a different side of Jim Zorn, and I had to think that blowing the game to St. Louis and then having another close game with an underdog made him a little tighter in his playcalling.

From that first drive I thought he'd go for it on fourth down from the 35, especially with a guy punting for the first time in six weeks in a real game situation (more on Ryan Plackemeier later; that was Durant-esque). He could have made a statement right there. Then Jason Campbell got the groin tweak and I don't blame Zorn at all for pounding it on the ground against the Browns. But, again, late he could have passed on third-and-five and not forced the defense to close it out.

It was obvious that he was running plays specifically for rookie tight end Fred Davis as well, but I thought he went a bit too far with that (the kid looked like he was running in slow motion on that reverse). I understand the need for one of these rookies to contribute, but it's just not happening. Last week Devin Thomas was used a ton in the three wide-receiver stuff, and he was blanked, too.

Special teams really hurt the Skins again. They got crushed in field position for the most part, and that kept an inept Browns offense in the game. Plackemeier has to get better - right? - because the 32-yard punts and stuff were weak. (Leigh Torrence failed to down the first punt deep, which could have turned the tide of the game early.) Rock Cartwright was a demon on teams as always, but those units struggled in critical areas again.

Offensively, Clinton Portis is running with confidence and abandon. The Jon Jansen/Stephon Heyer debate will reach its peak this week, with Heyer essentially healthy. With the way the running game is carrying the team and how strong that right side is now - there isn't much difference in running right or left now; they are gutting the ends on either side with the sweeps and stretch plays - I wouldn't change that chemistry. I thought Rock had a couple of great carries - as well as an unfortunate catch on a screen for a loss - and Shaun Alexander got a nice little reintroduction to the NFL as well.

No one in the NFL is running the ball better than the Skins right now, and that means kudos to all aspects of the unit. The wide receivers are blocking hard downfield, Chris Cooley excelled as a lead blocker when he had to, Sellers was a beast again and the line is looking great in the run game.

Campbell gutted it out and found a way to win. He made a few big plays and, most importantly, didn't make any big mistakes. He's protecting the football and leading his team to wins, and that 97 passer rating ain't too shabby.

On defense, London Fletcher is an all-out baller. He was all over the place, again, shutting down Jamal Lewis in the run game much of the day, blowing people up, commanding the field in those goal-line stands. The guy is playing the best football I've seen from him, and that's saying something because he's usually at a high level. His downfield coverage is tight. He seems to be fresher in the fourth quarter than the first.

That was also the most violent game I've seen from the secondary in a while. Carlos Rogers bottled up Braylon Edwards (what's up with dropping the easy balls, then holding on after getting blasted?) and crushed him several times. Chris Horton was very physical, particularly early. LaRon Landry found more of the ball and broke up some plays. They played very well, especially with no Shawn Springs.

H.B. Blades shined in certain packages, especially around the goal line. I though Rocky McIntosh had a strong game overall (though they seemed to be going to Kellen Winslow against him in the fourth quarter with success; coverage is not his strong suit).

On the defensive line, for the upteenth time, I'm loving what Demetric Evans is bringing to the table. Until, or unless, Jason Taylor gets right, save 55 for third down and keep Evans on the field. He did his thing in the run game and made some big plays on passing downs, too, including batting balls down. Cornelius Griffin seems to finally be getting healthy, and Kedric Golston got a good push on key plays and helped move the line of scrimmage.

Derek Anderson was so atrocious much of the afternoon that it probably made everyone on the other side of the ball look good, but on a day when the offenses needed a pick-me-up, the D more than provided it.

The chore moving forward will be to re-establish some rhythm and diversity in the attack. Facing the Lions should be the perfect way to get going on offense. And special teams must improve, starting with the punter. Glad to see Santana Moss get a shot to spark things on punt and kick returns, and Danny Smith is as good a special teams coach as there is. They need better execution and to eliminate some of the special teams penalties.

Overall, the Skins remain a work in progress, but if you are able to go 6-2 while still figuring some things out and hardly looking your best all the time, that's pretty impressive, and as I've said before, the road games in the second half set up very well.

By Jason La Canfora  |  October 20, 2008; 7:24 AM ET
 
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Comments

Portis on pace to be in the top RB of all time.
Some math.

c+(a*g)=
c=career yards
a=average ypg this year
g=games to play this year

8.533+(116.9*9)= 9,585

according to NFL HOF (though out of date)

20 Earl Campbell 9,407
According to NFL.com he is now No 25.

Posted by: alex35332 | October 20, 2008 7:29 AM | Report abuse

I don't think Plack kicked all that badly, a lot of those punts should have been downed inside the twenty, and he had one great kick that the coverage stunk it up on, high and long and they still couldn't cover it, not his fault.

The coverage units have been bad on punts, and that does have to get fixed.

A good win when JC was not throwing the ball well, and I'll take it!

Posted by: craig2 | October 20, 2008 7:52 AM | Report abuse

Glad to come out of that one with a win. By the way, who is that number 22? And what has he done with the real Carlos Rogers? What a great game he had I thought.

Posted by: splitbill | October 20, 2008 7:53 AM | Report abuse

Yeah man, Rogers has picked up right where he left off last year before the injury, and continued getting better and better. Lights out!

Time to clean up a little more of the mess, and go get the Lions!

Posted by: craig2 | October 20, 2008 7:55 AM | Report abuse

Plack gave us the hangtime we were looking for, apart from that dreadful punt at the end of the game. I mean...he probably hadn't played in a while and had to punt like 10 times in the game...thought he did fine. If you're going to criticize draft picks, point out that Davin Thomas had a great special teams TD-saving tackle. He was jawing a lot though...not cool. Fred Davis was overlooked for a TD pass down the middle on the drive where we kicked a field goal to make it 10-3. Portis needs to wrap a ball up when we're up. No mention of this??? Game is over if we continue that drive.

Posted by: moo21 | October 20, 2008 8:13 AM | Report abuse

oops Devin

Posted by: moo21 | October 20, 2008 8:14 AM | Report abuse

As good as Springs is, Skins need to drop him at end of year. This guy makes millions and only plays in half the games. And it appears we wasted our picks on Jason Taylor. Hopefully he will come up to speed and generate a sack or two.

Good win yesterday. Skins always seem to have to drive 80 yards in 7-8 minutes to get any points. No easy scores. BTW, when is the last time we blocked a punt or FG?

Posted by: fearturtle44 | October 20, 2008 8:16 AM | Report abuse

On the defensive line, for the upteenth time, I'm loving what Demetric Evans is bringing to the table. Until, or unless, Jason Taylor gets right, save 55 for third down and keep Evans on the field. He did his thing in the run game and made some big plays on passing downs, too, including batting balls down.

By Jason La Canfora | October 20, 2008; 7:24 AM ET

Amen, JLC. I wonder if we wasted those picks to get Taylor when they guy they have in the lineup now is playing such good ball. But as the Giants proved, you can never have too many quality lineman...

After reading Wise's column on Portis and in light of his play so far this season, I wonder how many people would still say that the Skins got fleeced in the Bailey-Portis trade. Right now Champ is getting lit up along with everyone else in Denver's secondary (last in pass defense, I believe), while CP is leading the league in rushing and second in rushing TDs. Not to mention the fact that he's really stepped up as a leader in the locker room. And considering the 2nd rounder we sent as part of that trade ended up being Tatum Bell, maybe the Skins came out ahead after all.

Posted by: brownwood26 | October 20, 2008 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Portis needs to wrap a ball up when we're up. No mention of this??? Game is over if we continue that drive.

Posted by: moo21 | October 20, 2008 8:13 AM

I wouldn't read too much into that fumble. The man is in full sprint and a defender punches the ball out. More a great play by the defender than a careless one by Portis. Luckily it didn't hurt too bad.

Posted by: brownwood26 | October 20, 2008 8:28 AM | Report abuse

I agree brownwood26, and Portis took it hard too, he knows that's the kind of thing that can ruin a good outing otherwise.

Maybe one take on the Taylor trade and injuries is the he'll be REAL fresh down the stretch, maybe he'll get it going later in the season and add that singular pass rush this D needs to be a GREAT defense rather then just the very good defense it is now.

Maybe?!

Posted by: craig2 | October 20, 2008 8:33 AM | Report abuse

I wonder how many people would still say that the Skins got fleeced in the Bailey-Portis trade.

Pretty hard to evaluate the on-field impact of that trade, but Portis makes the skins so much fun to watch... Champ never lit up anyone the way that CP can.

Posted by: daggar | October 20, 2008 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Good win, all wins are good though. Portis is just a man among boys out there. I did not have the luxury of watching the game, rather just listening, the guys on the radio seemed to think that Thomas was open quite a bit...matters not I suppose, as a win is a win....

Posted by: BeantownGreg | October 20, 2008 8:36 AM | Report abuse

I dont have too many warm fuzzies about yesterdays win. Kudos to the D for going 7 for 8 from the 1 yard line, but on both those drives the Browns waltzed right down there like they owned the place.

No doubt it would have been much better had Portis not fumbled, if we had gotten just one first down in our final drive, or if we got an NFL punt at the end of that drive...

We were lucky the fg missed, and we have to start putting away these lesser teams.

Posted by: mattsoundworld | October 20, 2008 8:36 AM | Report abuse

i continue to be amazed at how effective the defense has has been despite the lack of a pass rush...great job by blache & co.

the fact that the o-line has been healthy at the same time has been the biggest key this year. it's aide campbell's growth while opening holes for portis.

i really like where this team has gone, and where it's heading.

Posted by: rambo2000 | October 20, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Portis rulz
everything else drulz!

I can't be a H8TR on the fumble. He got hawked. The dude's balling is in the stratosphere this year!

Posted by: chrislarry | October 20, 2008 8:43 AM | Report abuse

As good as Springs is, Skins need to drop him at end of year. This guy makes millions and only plays in half the games.

Posted by: fearturtle44 | October 20, 2008 8:16 AM |

You might want to get your facts straight before you come up here with that crap, fearturtle. This is Springs fifth year with the Redskins. In the previous four years he played in 15, 15, 9, and 16 games. And when he's on the field, he's as tough as anyone who plays that position.

If you're looking for someone who has missed games, try Carlos Rogers. During the last three years he's played in 12, 15, and 7 games. Think we should let him go when his contract's up?

Posted by: talent_evaluator | October 20, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

cl, agreed on Portis, he's just playing out of his mind right now.

For those who were able to watch, how did Jansen fare in pass protection??

From the highlights that I saw, it seemed like the defense was just PUNISHING people...

Posted by: BeantownGreg | October 20, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Portis needs to wrap a ball up when we're up. No mention of this??? Game is over if we continue that drive.

Posted by: moo21 | October 20, 2008 8:13 AM

I wouldn't read too much into that fumble. The man is in full sprint and a defender punches the ball out. More a great play by the defender than a careless one by Portis. Luckily it didn't hurt too bad.

Posted by: brownwood26 | October 20, 2008 8:28 AM |

Point taken...he had a great game, no doubt. My only thing is this: That was a tight game, and after last week's team fumblitis that lost us a tight game, wrapping the ball up when the game could be put out of reach seems like it should have been a point of focus. The defender definitely made a play, but fumbles can happen, and CP didn't have 2 hands on the ball. Cooley also fumbled but it went out of bounds. You can't prevent them all, but 2 hands is better than 1.

Posted by: moo21 | October 20, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

i continue to be amazed at how effective the defense has has been despite the lack of a pass rush...great job by blache & co.

Posted by: rambo2000 | October 20, 2008 8:38 AM |

They are good and those goal line stands yesterday were awesome. But the D also got a big boost from Anderson who went 14 of 37. We should give him a game ball. I can't believe he will be starting next week for CLE.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | October 20, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

I dont have too many warm fuzzies about yesterdays win. Kudos to the D for going 7 for 8 from the 1 yard line, but on both those drives the Browns waltzed right down there like they owned the place.

No doubt it would have been much better had Portis not fumbled, if we had gotten just one first down in our final drive, or if we got an NFL punt at the end of that drive...

We were lucky the fg missed, and we have to start putting away these lesser teams.

Posted by: mattsoundworld | October 20, 2008 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Lucky? 50+ yard field goals are never gimmes. If there was any luck for the Skins, it was that Anderson started out terrible, and the Skins D kept him that way with pressure, only one sack, but DA was on the ground a LOT early, pressure always speeds up the QB and tends to force bad throws.

And BTW, I'm feeling pretty warm and fuzzy myself, 5-2 is A LOT BETTER THAN 4-3!

Posted by: craig2 | October 20, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

All Hail Zorn. F Dallas, F Larry Michael, F the cleavland orange heads, F a steam pipe explosion at HUD 7 blocks away waking me up from 3:30-4:30 AM, I am sure othere hear heard it as well furthers mention of it on the web is 20 blocks away.

Posted by: alex35332 | October 20, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Those of you hating on Springs, Kelly, Taylor for being injured don't have any perspective on what injuries are about in the NFL. Peter King has some interesting stats on injuries in the NFL.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/writers/peter_king/10/20/week7/3.html

Lost for the season (in the first seven weeks):

10 starting QBs,
19 2007 Pro Bowlers
50 starting offensive skill players
117 other starters
11 non-starters/weapons

Skins have actually gotten off pretty easy compared to the others.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | October 20, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

From the Times, Zorn talking about the D:

"We did more than rebound on defense," said Redskins coach Jim Zorn, who described his defense as emotional, violent, mean and physical"

Good stuff....

Posted by: BeantownGreg | October 20, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

As someone said above the defense performing well despite a consistent pass rush but this will come back to haunt them when they play teams that can actually throw and catch the ball. The D did get lucky that DA was off yesterday. He missed some open receivers and when he did find them they dropped the ball.

I don't want to be Debby Downer here and I'm happy for the win, but there is definitely concern that the 4 man pass rush (even some blitz packages) are ineffective.

Posted by: Moose33 | October 20, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

don't want to be Debby Downer here and I'm happy for the win, but there is definitely concern that the 4 man pass rush (even some blitz packages) are ineffective.

Posted by: Moose33 | October 20, 2008 9:08 AM

We have already played 4 of the best passing teams in the NFL and it did not hurt us, they get good pressure sacks are overated.

Posted by: Flounder21 | October 20, 2008 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Debby Downer, there is no doubt that it COULD come back to haunt them, BUT, they have already played 5 of the six top rated QB's in the league, and handled each one pretty well, yes they need more pass rush, but they are also proving that sacks isn't necessarily the only way to apply pressure.

The D is playing great, and I for one, think Blache has a pretty good handle on what they do well and playing to that and it's showing up on the field.

Posted by: craig2 | October 20, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Moose, from everything I've read, Times/Post, there seemed to be a good amount of pressure in Anderson's face causing him to throw so poorly...

Posted by: BeantownGreg | October 20, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

We have already played 4 of the best passing teams in the NFL and it did not hurt us, they get good pressure sacks are overated.

Posted by: Flounder21 | October 20, 2008 9:11 AM

It didn't hurt us in the St. Louis game? We blitz on the play where they completed the 43 yarder to whats-his-name. I'm not sure I agree that sacks are overrated.

Posted by: Moose33 | October 20, 2008 9:16 AM | Report abuse

the D also got a big boost from Anderson who went 14 of 37. We should give him a game ball. I can't believe he will be starting next week for CLE.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | October 20, 2008 8:52 AM |
---------

Both QB's were inacurate at times but Anderson had 4 or 5 drops that hit the reciievers in the numbers. Braylon Edwards had 2 or 3 himself.

I thought Horton had another strong outing. The kid keeps getting better each game. A real late round feather that Vinny can stick in his thread bare hat.

Posted by: splitbill | October 20, 2008 9:16 AM | Report abuse

CeePee is probably more down on himself than we ever will be... So he's still leading the league by a full 100 yds. He's golden.

Kudos to the "D" They have my gameball. 2 4th and Goals? awesome.

I'd much rather see a game like this than that crappy duel between Dal & Phil earlier this year.

I think we'll be ready for Detroit.

Posted by: DikShuttle | October 20, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Can we nickname our run game The Big Red Line or something? The Dirt bags just does not sound sexy

Posted by: alex35332 | October 20, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Not sure why hes dissin the punter, thought he did fine had some great kicks, we could have helped him out a little more too, mos def not Brooks like. If your gonna diss how about the kicker shanks a 36 yarder cmon gotta have that, he makes that kick the games diffrent.

CP26 is running like a possesed bulldozer, time to start getting the pro bowl votes for him and especially sellers, hes been riding the big mans coat tail literally all year. Cant be happy about the fumble, im not gonna grill him but whe he fumbles its always in crucial situation, last year it was a problem this year ill call that a fluke, Colley howvere is starting to worry me a bit.

Game ball goes to the defense. They are playing increadably. Goal line stances shutting down the run. Fletcher is playing remarkably, same for Rogers, Two more pro bowlers to get the ballots for. Horton continues to develop in ways that make me happy, before he was on the spot makin picks now hes on the spot makin tackles, nice ones at that. Shutting down great power backs the last two weeks.

Was a little giddy everytime Rock got to tote one, he did a great job in the role, need to show him some love and keep feeding him a few for his good work.

HAIL!!!!

Posted by: Stu27 | October 20, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

I agree, happy rock got to run a few runs.

Posted by: alex35332 | October 20, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

It didn't hurt us in the St. Louis game? We blitz on the play where they completed the 43 yarder to whats-his-name. I'm not sure I agree that sacks are overrated.

Posted by: Moose33 | October 20, 2008 9:16 AM

You are going back to one play, every defense gives up a play here and there.

Lets look at yesterday we held them to nothing in the passing game, the week before the best sacking line in the NFL the Giants let the Browns throw all over them.

Sacks are good for creating turnovers, which we can use but the team still gets good pressure.

Posted by: Flounder21 | October 20, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Stu,

Why is Cooley starting to worry you?

Posted by: Flounder21 | October 20, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Lucky? 50+ yard field goals are never gimmes. If there was any luck for the Skins, it was that Anderson started out terrible, and the Skins D kept him that way with pressure, only one sack, but DA was on the ground a LOT early, pressure always speeds up the QB and tends to force bad throws.

And BTW, I'm feeling pretty warm and fuzzy myself, 5-2 is A LOT BETTER THAN 4-3!

Posted by: craig2 | October 20, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

-----------------------------------

Luck refers to something out of your control, and we did not put ourselves in a position to control the end of the game. This is not good, because it was in our house against a team who had a short week to prepare, the week AFTER we let a league doormat come into our house and beat us.

And yes, 5-2 is great, our running game bodes well for January, yada yada. But this is the second week where we've had some issues in the 4th quarter, where we were shining throughout our win streak.

Sorry, no warm fuzzies for me.

Posted by: mattsoundworld | October 20, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

yes correct me if I am wrong but we held both the rams and browns to under 200 yards. Though CP is runing like mad Heyer needs to get in there to help on pass blocking somehow, JC's # have been down ever since JJ took the spot.

Posted by: alex35332 | October 20, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

200 yds passing I mean

Posted by: alex35332 | October 20, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Alex, I think its a stretch to blame JC's numbers being down on Jansen being in there....How many times has he been sacked versus Dallas/Philly/Cleveland, 4 times? You really can't argue with that....

Posted by: BeantownGreg | October 20, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Stu,

Why is Cooley starting to worry you?

Posted by: Flounder21 | October 20, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

His fumbles, he lost one this week but it went out of bounds. Its not a major concern but when has this guy ever been laying ball on the carpet in back to back games, I feel that he still hasent established a rythem yet with this offense, howeva his blocking is a major reason our run game keeps moving.

Posted by: Stu27 | October 20, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Wow what a scary game. I'll take a W anyway I can get em but all these close games.

Campbell at this point is still just a game manager. Until he becomes a real weapon in himself this team will continue to have to win the close ones to have a shot.

Posted by: Gweez | October 20, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Greg,
I realize that but I wonder if they are leaving in more blockers to help and is JC getting less time? that kind of stuff. I think we have 3 good OT's with each having their own specialties. As I heared someone point out recently, college teams and thus their players now don't run block much any more, which explains Heyer's weakness.

Posted by: alex35332 | October 20, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

how great it is? Cowboys are in the middle of an epic meltdown that will result in them 1) NOT winning a playoff game AGAIN (won't that be 13 years in a row?) and 2) ruining their franchise and reverting back to a rebuilding team.

In the meantime, the Redskins are off to a great 5-2 start after playing perhaps the most difficult first 7 games in the league. Seriously, can anyone name another team that has had a more difficult schedule in the first half of the season?

And despite what a buncha clowns on here say, we have a very, very good mix of veterans, young players, and pretty solid depth throughout our roster minus a few spots. It's been said a lot but it is very true - when I come on here I see the most negative feedback coming about our darn punter. THAT is a positive sign.


The bad thing is that we'll inevitably start getting the annoying media attention. I'd rather they continue their lovefest with the Cowgirls, but the media will quickly jump off that sinking ship. And honestly, I think I can speak for the majority of Skins fans when I say we don't want those clowns building us up.

Also, look at Portis after the game talking about his fumble and no way anybody on the Cowgirls say that. We're winning and we're staying classy and staying out of trouble.

Suck on that, Cowgirls!

Posted by: TheTruth11 | October 20, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

"Campbell at this point is still just a game manager"

Um....guru?? Is that you??

Posted by: BeantownGreg | October 20, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Campbell at this point is still just a game manager. Until he becomes a real weapon in himself this team will continue to have to win the close ones to have a shot.

---
Hey as long as he can manage to be a game manager I am fine with us doing it to it. He had a breakout game at NO, and I expecte 3 more by the end.

Posted by: alex35332 | October 20, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Sorry mattsoundworld, but I just feel like they are getting it done when they need to. Considering we STILL are a team learning a new offense(that didn't go away just cuz the Skins have played well and gotten some wins), JC had a bad day, yeah, a bad day. Still complete 60% of his passes and didn't give the game away. The Browns have had a solid defense this year (when you break down their games, stopping the run has been their only real weakness) and the Skins were able to rack up over 350 yards of offense. The D handled them pretty well too, did apply some pressure, and made a number of plays throughout the game.

The Skins are bit banged up right now too, but still holding an explosive offense on 7 of 8 shots into the endzone isn't too bad.

It's easy to sit back and be unhappy with it, but it's also pretty easy to feel good about it.

Posted by: craig2 | October 20, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

As for Devin Thomas he made a big contribution yesterday he saved a TD on the kick return, if not for him the guy is gone to the house!!!

Fred Davis would have had a bigger impact if JC didn't over throw him.

Posted by: wstclair | October 20, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

RedSkins > sexy. And I never want them to be. Let Dallas or San Fran or (ech) the Pats be 'sexy'... I want in the dirt, smashmouth, blood on the field, barbarism that typefied our Stuperbowl teams.

LUST FOR MAYHEM! that's not sexy... hehehe.

Posted by: DikShuttle | October 20, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

So, you give your sources all the love and praise huh? No one else though.......

Wow...Just Wow...

Posted by: 4thFloor | October 20, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Campbell at this point is still just a game manager"

I don't agree with that. If you look JC has made some key plays in the 4 quarter that lead to touchdowns. That to me say he is more than a game manager.

JM220

Posted by: icetotalpackage | October 20, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Not Greg it's Skinz. That's what he is though.

Over 208 yards twice in 7 games and 1 TD pass in the last 3 while having the leading rushing attack in the league by far. Facing 8 man fronts.

That's a game manager by any definition.

Posted by: Gweez | October 20, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

If JC did not pull his groin on that throw then he hits Davis, considering that he did the right thing putting it 5 feet over his head and into the sidelines.

Posted by: alex35332 | October 20, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

I dunno, Truth. While I also feel the glee watching our nemesis crash & burn, I think the media will closely watch that ship go down until the embers are no longer visible from the surface!!

They've been given so much rope, the noose is very tight now.

How many more metaphors can I butcher? Stay tuned...

Posted by: DikShuttle | October 20, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Not trying to jump the gun look ahead, this is more of a response to people criticizing JC.
But this team looks like a classic SB winning redskins team. They have a dominate run based offense with a QB that manages games(which is a good thing btw when you have as great a running attact as we do). In managing these games the OQ has set records for not turning over the ball, and has great waepons to throw to. Our D is playing as good as any, we have been facing some overwhealimg offenses which hit you in a number of diffrent ways and have minimized their damage. We have a great mix of veteral leadership and youthful enthusiasim. And we have a confident coach that belives in his approaches and understands his personel.
Things are only going to get better for us. Some of these guys Taylor who will get into a solid rythem as the year goes along and springs who will get healthy will be so valuable down the streatch.

Posted by: Stu27 | October 20, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

That's a game manager by any definition.

Posted by: Gweez | October 20, 2008 9:56 AM |

Game manager? 5-2 defines a winner.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | October 20, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Matt,

For a team with a new coach and new offense, who have already played all there division rivals away from home, I'll take 5-2 all day and twice on Sunday.

We win ugly that is what happens when you are learning a new offense, and you run the ball like the Skins do.

Posted by: Flounder21 | October 20, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

That was supposed to be a "not equal to" sign in my 9:52 post - but Loseable type ate it up ;)

Posted by: DikShuttle | October 20, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

To be clear, I'm not being critical of JC. I'm just saying that to me he is a game manager. No D we face is saying, "That JC, he's the guy we need to stop."

Playing efficient and mistake free football are also keys to being a game manager type QB. He's doing all of that.

Posted by: Gweez | October 20, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

A game manager, with a 97 qb rating and zero interceptions?? Agree to disagree on that one....

Posted by: BeantownGreg | October 20, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

What are the odds the Cowgirls do not even make the playoffs, they look terrible I think they finish with a losing record.

Posted by: Flounder21 | October 20, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

he will get taged as a game manager because he does not blow teams up. He is a sollid 200+ yards 1.5 TD a game guy.

Posted by: alex35332 | October 20, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

To be clear, I'm not being critical of JC. I'm just saying that to me he is a game manager. No D we face is saying, "That JC, he's the guy we need to stop."

Posted by: Gweez | October 20, 2008 10:01 AM |

You're not being critical? You're being dismissive. And, duh, on a team with Portis and JC, of course they don't say JC is the one they need to stop.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | October 20, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

alex35332 totally agree with you. Zorn was smart by not pushing with JC after the injury. If need be I think we can get away with Collins against the Lions but no way with the Steelers.

JM220

Posted by: icetotalpackage | October 20, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Game manager? 5-2 defines a winner.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | October 20, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Yup just ask Trent Dilfer.

Posted by: Gweez | October 20, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

dcsween unfiltered ... (I haven't read any comments yet, but will do that next ... I did go to the game and have some take away thought) ...

1. Two teams, one game plan. Both teams seemed like they wanted to avoid each others' secondary and wear down the defensive line to keep them off the QB, at least until the early part of the second half. Portis, of course, is stud.

2. Kudos to Zorn not only for sticking with the plan, but for finding the way to keep Portis fresh ... the spell rotations with Cartwright and Alexander seemed well timed because when Portis came back in, he came in fresh and tore up the field.

3. OUTSTANDING red zone D by the Skins. Fletcher (who I guess had lots of family there) was HUGE. Golston also is my new DT of the future. Griffin feels like he's on the decline. For the first time this season (OK, I was drinking a little and my mind started to wander), Montgomery felt like trade bait.

4. Two downsides: (a) Jason Campbell seemed like he got a little bit un-medium ... maybe even a little thinky. The fumbled shotgun snap was the biggest indicator (to me) that he was thinking too far ahead. Same thing with the missed connections ... all were thrown ahead of the receiver (nothing behind). Looked like he had a little bit of fast forward on the brain; and (b) downside for the Skins, but upside for Crennel ... Suisham seems un-iceable ... but maybe Plackemeier is/was ... I couldn't tell whether the missed FG was kicked badly or held wrong ... if the latter, then Browns use of the time out to "ice the holder" was well-used.

5. Rogers is the kind stud of all corners. The end.

6. Plackemeier's pooch punting ability really impressed me. I might have asked Suisham to kick the 54 yarder (52?), but Plackemeier's pooching got the ball did wonders with field position, so against a team that struggled to convert on 3rd down, plus the opportunities for safety, probably seems like the right call after the fact.

7. Bottom line: Though boring, this was an important win against a pretty good team.

... now I will assume everybody said all of this ... if there is a point that no one mentioned, I probably will repeat it all week.

Posted by: dcsween | October 20, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

"He wasn't upbeat after this latest phone-it-in loss. Jones was angry enough that he could have steamed a basket of clams. A bead of sweat slipped down his forehead as he spoke in terse, measured tones in a nearly silent Cowboys locker room. Later, he issued a team-wide, locker-room tongue-lashing that even the most veteran Cowboys say they have seldom witnessed."

that's Jerry Jones speaking to the team after the loss, NOT the head coach.

LOL?

Posted by: TheTruth11 | October 20, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

So what happened on that FG at the half? Any good breakdowns? I thought I saw the punter holding the ball weird on kicks, he had his hand in front of the ball more than I notice most people do.

Posted by: alex35332 | October 20, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

I thought that Kedrick Golston had his best game at DT. He was stout against the run, showed great pursuit and hustle downfield, and got a good push inside on his pass rush.

Posted by: iseyij | October 20, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

I can't say for sure, but I would definitely think the holder (punter) would be the problem there.

I'm sure he'll get better with practice. And, btw, I don't see the problems with his punting game. Ok, so that first one bounced the wrong way... did anyone notice the hang time? our guy was the before the ball was.

I hope Placky can put the debate behind us.

btw, do you know where you can find a platypus? In a Platypussery!! It's true. I swear.

Can we start calling Placky "PlackyPuss"? hehe... makes me giggle... hehehe.


...maps...

Posted by: DikShuttle | October 20, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Some observations:

1) It was a nice win - score notwithstanding. Good teams learn how to win in a variety of ways. And it is nice to see us gut out a close ugly nailbiter, learn how to hold a lead instead of needing to mount a comeback.

2) We were well on the way to a 10-14 point victory as I had predicted, until Portis coughed it up. It's hard to kill the guy given his overall performances, but he needs to be aware of the situation in the game and realize ball protection is more important than trying to outsprint a guy.

3) JC looks way out of rhythm. I don't think running plays to Slo-Mo Davis is the answer. (Does anyone else think that long pass would have been caught by Cooley - I can't see Cooley gettin wrong-footed like that when turning for the ball.). Why don't we take deep stabs anymore? We've got the speed and you figure we might at least get a pass interference here or there?

4) I guess if we have to pick between running CP w/Jansen or giving JC pass protection w/ Heyer, we go with the running game. That's just common sense, right? Kind of like how good pitching beats good hitting, or something like that.

5) We just don't blitz in this defense. Carter and Taylor need to win more straight-up matchups on the edges and get to the QB.

6) Carlos Rogers looks like a #9 overall (that's the first time I've ever said that!)

7) It's officially time to stop killing the Skins for their draft picks. HB Blades, Rocky, Carlos, LL, Monty, Golston, Horton, Smoot (and I'm sure I'm missing some others). But this defense is essentially built around guys that we've drafted over the years.

Posted by: p1funk | October 20, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

"Plackemeier has to get better - right? - because the 32-yard punts and stuff were weak."

Is it just me or did anyone else think he did a fine job? In the first half the skins were driving to midfield, so the punter was trying high, end over end stuff, trying to pin them. Obviously his punts aren't going to go very far if he only has half the field to punt to.

Posted by: mikeyvanilli | October 20, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Plackemeier's distance is due in part to where he punted from. Most the time they were already at mid field and cant just bomb it.

Posted by: alex35332 | October 20, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

I think the 2nd rounders will start to have an impact. D. Thomas had a solid game on teams, and Smoot said on Comcast last night that his route runnig has really improved. I was glad to see Davis get some action. That's the second week in a row he's seen some action on offense. And I am holding out hope for Kelly to play after the bye week.

Posted by: TWISI | October 20, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

overall thoughts is that our D, especially on the goal line was phenomenal. great tackling and coverage. Still no real pass rush but they are controlling the line of scrimmage. For those of you who are riding Evans and getting down on JT. Keep in mind they are helping keep each other fresh. I would say play Evans on 1st down and let what happens on that down dictate who plays the rest of the series.

On to the Offense. Portis & Sellers are reading each others minds right now great team work. Where the d line is controlling the LOS the O line is dominating it. Great job and leave Jansen in there until he proves he is getting too tried to do it week in and week out.

Secondary played very, very well C Los in particular. Everyone will love the big hit but I thought the break ups on the quick slants were even better. Landry needs to be a step quicker and keep bringing the wood. Horton( the predator) was ball hawking as usual. Smoot didn't get burned or get hurt. Enough said.

Rookies: wow let's hope they are learning because they are not contributing. the end around to Davis? Thomas maybe not Davis. Given the pass late by the end zone wasn't Sleepy's fault JC just missed him but we have nothing to build on for the rooks.

Special teams: i thought Plack did a decent job. Pinned them inside the 20 more than once and should have had them on the one (thanks Torrence). Bad snap led to an awful missed field goal prior to the half which would have sealed this game much sooner. we have to improve in thsi area before the divisional games start again. I keep hearing Danny Smith is such a great coach but his squads are not showing it. he needs to be motivated, hint hint

peace

Posted by: Hail2theChief | October 20, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

I liked giving Fred Davis that touch even though he didn't do anything. We can come out with a win and it looked like we had two plays (maybe more?) specifically designed for him. I might've missed some things, I had to watch on the little TV with no volume while the rest of the sports bar was watching some crap game no one cares about.

But Davis has been working hard apparently, cool to see The Zorn Star giving him some plays and trying to make him part of the offense.

Someone said that once Davis gets rolling we'll have the best TE duo in the league, I'd say once Davis gets started we'll have the best TE trio in the league. Cooley, Davis, and Yoder are all studs.


and a big HIP HIP HOORAY to Mike Sellers, dude is one of the most unappreciated players in the league. He's a freaking beast and all us Skins fans know it but we don't say it enough. VOTE FOR HIM TO THE PRO BOWL!

Posted by: TheTruth11 | October 20, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Good point, Truth! Vote indeed!

Posted by: DikShuttle | October 20, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

"Carlos Rogers bottled up Braylon Edwards (what's up with dropping the easy balls, then holding on after getting blasted?)"

I think he's playing like a punk who went to Michigan; that's why.

Good morning DC and surrounding areas. Browns fan here. What can I say? Braylon Edwards IS a punk, and certainly played like one yesterday. Easy catches...dropped. That has been his m.o. since Day One. The Browns have put numbers on ball tips thrown to him to help concentrate and other various methods, but he still drops passes.

Our qb? Derek Anderson plays in a disturbing pattern: good or great game (see: NYG) followed by a crap game (see: yesterday).

Look, the 'Skins did what they had to do to win yesterday; I do not want to take anything away from them. You guys have a great ballclub over there.

Bailey for Portis? Every fan in SkinsNation would do it again in a heartbeat, am I right? Bonafide STUD.

London Fletcher and Jason Taylor are nice, too...from Cleveland and Akron, respectively. You're welcome.

But, thanks for Josh Cribbs. The guy was dealing weed at Kent State...so what? Better NE Ohio than DC, right? But, thanks for JC. We like him just fine. Weed or no weed. Never killed anybody, anyhow. (Weed...not JC....that we know of.)

Congrats on the win, guys. Good luck the rest of the season. I hate Dallas and the Giants, anyhow, so roll on, brothers and sisters.

Peace.

Posted by: HerdFan | October 20, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Also keep an eye out folks, Brannon Sutherland is a beastly FB coming out of UGA and he'll be drafted next year somewhere. I'm guessing in the later rounds, but he's a guy that would be a great backup FB if we had the luxury of having a backup FB. He's hard working and gets on his blocks and finishes every play.

He just had his first and only major injury of his career over this last preseason and came back full strength against Tennessee. Our running game showed instant improvement. He'll probably go in the mid or late rounds and would be a steal if he drops to 5th round or later.


Just giving a heads up!

Posted by: TheTruth11 | October 20, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

One small contribution from the rookies: D. Thomas used his 4.2 speed to chase down Cribbs at the sideline on a kickoff return that looked like it might go to the house.

Posted by: LiberalMike | October 20, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Just giving Davis the ball is going to help him start to learn the pro-game. But the Reverse I don't know.

Posted by: alex35332 | October 20, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

I have no issue with getting davis involved. I think that helps the O all around but not on and end around. Not when you have Moss who could take it to the house on every touch and if you don't think so flasback to that juking, spinning 35 yard play yesterday. or ARE who could throw the ball and keep the safeties back to allow for more running room. Davis just doesn't make sense and maybe that is why Zorn tried it because it was an oddball kinda play but put that one away....on to Detroit!

Posted by: Hail2theChief | October 20, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

yeah I like that we tried to get him involved as I said, but I was definitely scratching my head. Again, I was looking at a little puny TV and I was like "Is that Santana?" Then I realized how slow the guy was and I said "No it's ARE"....then I was like "WTF that's Fred Davis!"


also :


""I am so grounded in the thinking that higher payrolls don't win Super Bowls. I've never experienced success throwing money at players. I never see myself [being a Steinbrenner].''
-- Dallas owner Jerry Jones, at the NFL Meetings in Palm Beach, Fla., last March."

Posted by: TheTruth11 | October 20, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

It seemed to me and i think the commentators said something but on the Davis reverse, just the way he was running and looking downfield it seemed like he was trying to pass. Either that or we just executed the slowest posibly strangest personell choise on a reverse in NFL history.

Posted by: Stu27 | October 20, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Thanks herdsfan.....classiest oppossing team fan to post on here ever

Fletcher rulz
Trotter drulz

Posted by: chrislarry | October 20, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Did anyone else think Zorn was way conservative with the play calling in the 1st half?

The Skins' first drive was a nice mix of passes that got us down the field quickly and then, for the rest of the game, it was conservative. Granted, JC's slight injury might have played into that in the 2d half but great teams go for the jugular in the 1st half, put points on them and then use the dominant run game in the 2nd half to bury them.

Zorn, baby, have some confidence in the D and take to the air in the 1st half. Cooley is always open and Moss knows how to get open, even against double coverage.

Posted by: TS_Alfabet | October 20, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

We need to score points! And the special teams suck. Either get a new ST coach or get some guys that can make tackles..We cannot win aginst good teams with 14 points and the defense is letting all the teams back in at the end of the game ..going up and dwon the field at will..We need to back to the mentality when we won against dallas and philly

Posted by: ThewomaninRed | October 20, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure everyone has noticed and not just me,but CP seems to be a little more serious about football,life, and this team and his teamates he is playing as well as anyone in the league regardless of position i would say he is the MVP of NFL.JC is a game manager all good quaterbacks are thats where the old axiom "field general" comes to mind Campbell manages the team,field position,and makes the right read and play progression over the course of the game.He has been very efficient in that aspect and he will only get better,i for one am not surprised, this kid is smart and very savvy you have to be to deal with all the naysayers and cynics.Detriot will be no walk in the park the longer the losing streak the more deperate the team Skins need to stay focused.

Posted by: dargregmag | October 20, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Another close but good win...

Did anyone hear Jim Zorn after the game when he said that he was getting plays ready for OT? He also mentioned that he was looking at the field goal at the end of the game--as opposed to looking away.

All I could think was: Shoutout to Gibbs...

Posted by: RedDMV | October 20, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Coolley's been used on a few reverses before too, and Davis has more raw speed. It's just a change up, Zorn's got plans with it, that's something to build something else on.

JC is managing the game right now.

And that's pretty impressive for a guy learning yet another new offense, one can't expect much more of him this early in the season.

I expected the D to carry us through the first half of the season and with a little help here and there (Portis and occasional great plays in the fourth quarters from JC) that's exactly what's happening.

Be patient, give it time, it'll get better.

Posted by: craig2 | October 20, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

A couple of things from being at the game and watching what was going on --

1) Plakemier had a stinko first half. Two punts resulted in the Browns getting possession inside the 40. One was 32 yards! He did better second half but on the 47 yarder it was low and they got a scary return out of it. I think Skins may have some punters in on Tuesday.

2) When the Redskins ran a 2 wideout set with Cooley and Sellers they would get 4-6 yards every time. Then Zorn would take Sellers out and run in a 3 wideout formation and get 1 or 2 yards. Coach Z knows a LOT that I don't, but why not stay in the 2 wide set and keep pounding the ball until they give you single coverage on Moss by bringing the safeties up? Then play action and go deep.

3) Nobody is throwing posts on Landry. Nobody.

4) CP needs to cut back a little earlier when he breaks through the second level. he's heading towards the sideline and getting 20, but -- if he still has the speed -- he could get more coming across the grain. Regardless, the guy is incredible and the most important guy on the team.

5) They really didn't air it out once. Just read about JC's groin injury, maybe that's why. But I expected them to take a shot or two deep and it didn't happen.

5-2 Baby! Who'd have thunk it? The Lambs look a lot better than people thought they were, and the Brownies just finished beating up the Gi-Ants. Thankfully, the Lie-ons are probably as bad as everybody thinks they are, so Skins have a good chance of winning next week.

Holy crap! this is Christmas come early.

Posted by: dpc2003 | October 20, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Herd,

Thanks for the props & GOOD GAME! I'm a browns fan for a few reasons, Ernest Byner being the biggest.

Can y'all beat the stuffing outta Philly later this year, plz!

Thanks!

Posted by: DikShuttle | October 20, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Was a little giddy everytime Rock got to tote one, he did a great job in the role, need to show him some love and keep feeding him a few for his good work.

Posted by: Stu27 | October 20, 2008 9:27 AM

I'm with you there. I've been screaming on this blog for Rock to get more carries and that the Alexander signing wasn't necessary because Rock can play. Glad to see he got some quality runs in on Sunday and I hope they give him some more work as the season wears on. RB is definitely the deepest position on this team!

Posted by: brownwood26 | October 20, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

sorry, that was 2 inside the 50, typo.

Posted by: dpc2003 | October 20, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

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